Tuesday, November 8th is a big day for a host of issues. The Public Safety Sales tax is a big issue - not to just help build a future Public Safety Center but to also provide competitive wages, recruit/retain experienced police officers and firefighters, purchase a new fire truck, police and fire training, safety equipment and capital equipment.
For the past quarter century Parsons has been a training ground churning out trained police officers and firefighters for other departments in Kansas. Since 2009, nearly 100 police employees have left for better paying police and private sector jobs. That has been a huge loss in training and knowledge and a huge loss to our community.
How much more effective YOUR fire and police department would be if both were fully staffed with trained and experienced men and women.
The recent cycle of cherry-picking of police and fire staff to higher paying agencies has hit hard. The current labor market has made 1st Responders a valuable commodity here and across Kansas and the nation.
When fully staffed, Parsons PD should have 26 officers. Twenty would be assigned to Patrol, four to Investigations and two to Administration. Today, 10 officers are working patrol, and investigations is currently unstaffed.
To provide 3 patrol units 24/7 requires the staff to work mandatory overtime working three 12-hour days with two off. That can total up to 24 hrs of overtime a week. That is not a sustainable operation either from a budget or family life perspective.
The Public Safety Sales Tax vote on Tuesday will allow the police and fire departments to retain staff as career employees.
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Note: This factual information does not propose either a yes or no vote. This information is provided as a public service in compliance with state election laws.